ExhibitionZandra Rhodes Gallery
A Question of Angles and Curves | an exhibition of work by UCA Rochester's 1st Year Fashion Atelier
Angles and Curves is the first unit for our year one Fashion Atelier students. It is a dynamic five-week project that explores the concept of transferring fabric into three-dimensional garment forms based upon the exploration of a fundamental shape, either the square, the triangle, or the circle. At the end of the project each student produces three finished pieces in calico.
There are key principles within the project that must be adhere to as part of the brief. The central one being that, regardless of the chosen shape or amount of fabric utilised, more fabric cannot be added to the original cut piece, nor can fabric be cut away (subtracted.) The fabric piece can be cut into and manipulated through for instance folding, pleating, gathering; however, should the finished garments be taken back to their original forms, the deconstructed pieces should return to the singular flat shapes from which they started, i.e. square, triangle, or circle.
As well as research into historical dress forms and contemporary designers’ methods of draping and pattern cutting, the students’ work is also informed from extensive investigation into basic geometric structures associated with traditional systems of cultural dress such as the sari, dhoti, kimono and kilt.
Extensive design development is undertaken by working directly onto the mini mannequin, half-scale and full-size dress stand to fully exploit the potential of their chosen shapes. This incremental development in scale of both the three-dimensional form and the volume of fabric used, allows students to fully explore ideas creatively through a clear, progressive and edited format. This approach in fact replaces the notion of designing through merely sketching on paper as the initial starting point, putting draping and pattern cutting at the heart of the design process from the outset, which in turn transforms the flat to the fluid as the basic premise of creative cutting skills.
As well as showcasing the depth and diversity of their accomplishments achieved after just five weeks of learning, this exhibition also illustrates our approach to the development of specialist technical craft skills and creative practices, that are the underlying principle of the Atelier course.